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Old 06-07-2014   #1
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Default The Jihadist future: a Game of Thrones?

An excellent discussion 'Battling al Qaeda: Is the United States winning?' with Clint Watts (CWOT here) and Mary Habeck - on a ninety minute podcast, jump to 5:45 when it starts:

The AEI / FPRI summary:
In the past three years, a number of terrorist groups claiming affiliation to al Qaeda have emerged, despite having different targets and origins. On Thursday, AEI and the Foreign Policy Research Institute hosted an event to discuss the impact of splintering al Qaeda–affiliated groups and whether these groups signify al Qaeda's growing influence throughout the globe.

Clint Watts of the Foreign Policy Research Institute claimed that the emergence of new al Qaeda–affiliated groups resulted from the splintering and fracturing of new terrorist threats from the "old-guard al Qaeda." He also stressed that the US should defend its intelligence capabilities and focus its analysis on regions rather than on the al Qaeda network as a whole.

Mary Habeck, of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and AEI, disagreed with Watts, arguing that the emergence of different groups elucidates the extent to which al Qaeda has spread in the past three years and the strength of its ideology and methodology. She also emphasized that the growing al Qaeda network represents an imminent threat requiring US action.

Despite presenting differing opinions on the impact of infighting on al Qaeda as whole, panelists agreed that al Qaeda's objectives have surpassed plotting attacks on the United States; al Qaeda strives for insurgencies rather than individual international attacks.

Clint Watts used the 'Game of Thrones' analogy and I do like his work. I was stunned to hear that in his opinion climate change was possibly a greater threat.

A good part of the exchange is their differing views on the importance of ideology for the Jihadists, rather than people, resources and targeting priorities. Then whether ISIS would replace AQ-Central as the hub even leadership role. Would this end in more or less violence? Would AQ-Central attack Israel and ISIS attack Saudi Arabia, bith rated as the most dangerous options.
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Old 06-13-2014   #2
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If, according to Mary Habeck, "the emergence of difference groups elucidates the extent to which Al Qaeda has spread... and the strength of its ideology...", then does that not imply that the policy in the last three years (reference Iraq, Syria, Libya) has been a failure? And if it's also true that AQ "strives for insurgences rather than individual international attacks", does this not lend credence to Habeck's argument and also suggest that AQ has strengthened, not weakened?
When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot
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al-queda, counterterrorism, fighters, ideology, isis, jihad, syria, terrorism, threats

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